Customers are flocking to different stalls selling jute products at this year's Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF) to buy beautiful and environment-friendly products made by local entrepreneurs.
Stall owners say they are having good sales this year including export orders from many foreign buyers.
Jute products of various kinds are on display at the Jute Diversification Promotion Center (JDPC) pavilion in the open space behind the main building of the fair.
Jute products are also available at the Wend Hut and Ananda Mela mini pavilions.
The JDPC pavilion has more than 10 stalls with home decoration products made from jute including table runner, table mats, carpets, doormats, Shataranji, show-pieces, file covers, different types of bags, handicrafts, jewellery, children's toys, wallets and other household products.
All the stalls at the pavilion were seen full of customers on Tuesday (11 January) afternoon at the new venue in Purbachal.
Suraiya Begum, a private employee who came to the fair from the Badda area of Dhaka, bought a jute bag from the stall of Heritage Eco Products for Tk150.
"I bought this bag to carry my lunch box. Jute is good for the environment, so we should use jute products," she told The Business Standard.
Another customer Jannatul Islam bought a table runner from the stall of Bengal Braid and Rags.
"I always buy some jute products from the fair. It is the first product that I have bought this year. And it's a jute product," she said.
Tanvir Islam bought two bowls to use as show piece. "Jute products make the house look more beautiful," he said.
One of the main attractions of Bengal Braid and Rags is their beautifully crafted rags priced between Tk1,000 to Tk6,000. Mohammad Rakib, a salesman at the stall, said, "The presence of customers is satisfying. The sale starts mainly after 12 pm."
The stall of Jermatz Limited is decorated with various jute products with aesthetically beautiful designs and colours. Ismat Jerin Khan, managing director of the company, said, "We have different types of jute products. The lowest price of our product is Tk50. We also have export quality products which are more expensive."
"Customers, who are visiting the fair this year, are enjoying the open environment. Many are collecting our brochures to buy our products later," she added.
Ismat Jerin Khan said, "Many foreign buyers are communicating with us. One of them ordered 50,000 bags. Another foreigner said he would buy 4,000 plate mats to export to Italy. He bought some samples. A Kuwaiti buyer also said that he will buy our products."
Rahela Jute Graft has been producing jute products since 2015. They have a stall at the trade fair to showcase their products.
Shamim Ara Dipa, founder of Rahela Jute Graft, said, "The sales are better this year than the previous years. Last Friday, we sold products worth Tk40,000. Our average sale is between Tk18,000 to Tk20,000 every day this year. The demand for our bags is very high, with prices ranging between Tk1,000 to Tk1,500."
Saiful Islam, a salesman from Agroj's stall, said they are selling products worth Tk50,000 every day.
Nadia Binte Amin, president of Women Entrepreneurs Network for Development Association (WEND), an organisation of women entrepreneurs, told The Business Standard, "Jute products are in high demand abroad. Now the demand is being created in the country. The stalls of Wend Hut at the fair are decorated with products of 12 women entrepreneurs."